Growing up, my mother liked to make casseroles for supper. Not only did it reduce the number of dishes to wash, but it also was easy to make and assemble and it was like comfort food. Noodles, Ground Beef and Vegetable Casserole is one of the dishes she often prepared, especially when she did not know when everyone was coming in to eat.
Noodles, Ground Beef and Vegetable Casserole
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-ounce can) crushed or diced tomatoes
- 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced (or 1 small can mushrooms, drained.)
- 12 ounces egg noodles
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 (15-ounce) can of black olives, strained and chopped (Optional)
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
Heat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Fill a large pot with water and begin heating it to cook the noodles. Add 1 Tbs. salt for every 2 quarts water or as directed on back of the package.
Over medium-high heat in a large, cast iron skillet, add the ground beef and cook it until it is browned. The ground beef does not have to be cooked through because you need to bake it. As the ground beef cooks, season it with salt and pepper. Remove the ground beef from the skillet and into a large bowl, but leave some of the fat in the skillet so you can cook the vegetables.
Add the onions and bell pepper into the skillet, sautéing them until soft; it will take around 4 minutes. Add garlic, cook, and stir for another minute. Then add the tomatoes and bring the contents to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the skillet, adding them to the ground beef, leaving the excess fat in the skillet. Stir the meat and vegetables to combine.
Sauté the sliced mushrooms or if you are using a can of mushrooms, you can omit the sautéing part and just add them to the meat and vegetables. When the mushrooms are browned, add them to the ground beef.
Cook the noodles in the boiling salted water for approximately 4 to5 minutes. You will want to leave the noodles a little firm because they will finish cooking in the oven. Strain the noodles when cooked. Add the noodles to the meat and vegetable mixture and stir to combine.
Stir in the corn, olives, and about two-thirds of the cheese.
Put the mixture in a large 3-quart casserole dish. If you have too much mixture for one casserole dish, use two smaller ones. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the casserole.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve.